One of the strong emphases of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South America for the next few years is to motivate people to share their knowledge of the Bible with others. Official data show that there are already many people who give Bible studies regularly, and a significant portion receiving them.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church President for eight South American countries, Pastor Stanley Arco, commented on this emphasis in a recent live broadcast on official church channels. He explained that “a disciple must bear fruit. And, for this reason, you must give Bible studies. This means seeking out and serving people interested in learning about the Bible.”
Statistics taken from data recorded in the official membership management system of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, called ACMS, give an overview of the first half of this year. It was totaled that, during this period of time, 268,132 people gave Bible studies. On the other hand, at least 354,551 received Bible studies in the same period (January to June 2021). The number of baptisms was 121,957.
Young people and the deepest search
But how does one go about seeking those people who are interested in studying the Bible? Nutritionist Thaís Trivelato and Publicist Victor Trivelato, who live in Brasília, started a different experience in April this year. At the request of some young people, they started a Bible study group with seven people, all aged up to approximately 30 years. “The young people, although most of them were baptized, felt the need to deepen their knowledge of the Word of God and understand how the Adventist Church saw some biblical concepts,” says Victor.
Basic Beliefs and Prophecies
The group has remained firm, meeting every Saturday afternoon. Today, there are 12 participants, including people who have recently joined the Adventist faith. The dialogues, which center on an assessment of biblical beliefs and prophecies found in the books of Daniel and Revelation, take place remotely, and interest has not waned for several weeks. On the contrary, some members are excited to also be Bible teachers. And even non-Adventists were invited to take part in the meetings.
In order to offer a connection between those interested in the message of hope transmitted by the television channel of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, TV Novo Tempo (NT) , a Novo space was inaugurated in Brasília, in Asa Norte, one of the main regions of the capital, Time.
The place, where one of the stores of the Publishing House Brasília (CPB) already operates, now has a Bible class. The coordinator of the Novo Tempo Bible School, Pastor Dário Irias, explains that in the Federal District there are already five groups similar to this one and that the objective is to promote closer contact with those interested in learning about God and the Bible. “In Brasília, there are more than 20,000 people who contact Novo Tempo requesting materials, such as a Bible study, and we want to offer a more effective service. That's what we're going to do here. In addition to the studies, we are going to provide guidance in various areas.”.
Rubens Lima got to know TV Novo Tempo through the internet. He says that his heart was touched when he watched the program, Caixa de Música, broadcast daily by the station. “Those musical messages showed me that we can handle everything, that we can go beyond what we can imagine when Jesus is our intercessor,” says Rubens. After this experience, he decided he wanted to understand the Bible better.
In the Novo Tempo de Comunicação network, there is a robust structure to serve people interested in greater learning. The area of digital evangelism counted, in this first semester, 217,926 calls from people who want to study the Bible, both in Portuguese and in Spanish. In this group, there are also people who ask for prayer and want to talk to a virtual assistant. Through the support system via chatbot (a robot called Hope, which helps to streamline attendance with biblical answers), the number of people studying the Bible currently reaches 40,000.
Pastor William Timm, the area coordinator, points out that the services take place via WhatsApp, Facebook, among other platforms, to people from 85 different countries, including nations with restrictions on face-to-face evangelistic activities. This team currently has thirteen volunteers.
Data from the Digital Strategies area of the South American headquarters also indicate a greater search for biblical teaching content. In Portuguese, in the first half of this year, there were 17,338 downloads of the Bible Study Apocalypse – Revelations of Hope. The material called Homes of Hope and Healing, another study guide, was downloaded 5,000 times last year.
In Spanish, the guide known as La Fe de Jesus reached the mark of more than 6,000 downloads in a year. All of this content is available on the Adventist Portal.